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Interview with Christoph, University of Mannheim

Which important tasks we are distracting you from with this interview?
I am working for two Schwarzkopf Professional brands: ESSENSITY and BLONDME. My tasks are as varied as these two brands. For example, yesterday I prepared a questionnaire for marketing departments located all over the world, for the purpose of analyzing our brand performance. In addition, I always have an eye on the competition and track their actions. Moreover, I just started to work on the coordination of the sales promotions for the next two years and the pricing of a new product.

Tell us what surprised you the most about your internship!
I was very surprised my first day about the international atmosphere. My department is based in Hamburg, Germany, I have many colleagues from all parts of the world. Meetings, phone calls or conversations are usually in English. I can experience and appreciate every day that I work for a global company.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind, when I ask you about the people at Henkel?
Familiarity – Although Henkel is a global company with almost 50,000 employees, Henkel is like a huge family. Everyone is very open-minded and there is no rigid hierarchy. At the beginning, I was really confused about this openness, since I have not experienced this in previous internships.

Besides the job itself, what do you value that Henkel offers its interns?
I think Henkel is very strong when it comes to involving interns in its business. The company shows that it has a strong interest in its interns and that it wants to help them grow. For example, just in the International Marketing department, several Brand Managers started their careers as interns at Henkel. My understanding is that the opportunity to join a program like “Career Track” is not very common and is an incentive for students/interns. How well interns are integrated into the business is expressed in the objective orientation and the variable remuneration that I have never experienced in an internship before.

How was your development during your internship – who or what influenced it?
I think I had a strong development during my internship. It is not just that you get a limited task but you experience all the things a brand manager has to do. As I have never done an internship in International Marketing before, I was confronted with new and challenging tasks. With increasing experience and the support of my mentor, I learned how to manage these challenging tasks.

Would you do it again?
Definitely! Why not? My internship is the perfect mix of challenging tasks, great support and a familiar atmosphere.